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Monday, July 30, 2012


Over the last few weeks I've spent some time catching up with old friends.  I attended my 10 year High School Reunion, as well as my 10 year 2002 Advanced Theater Class Reunion.

I would say that mostly I laughed for the entire weekend about the places life has taken us, the things we used to do "back then," and how different everyone looks, but how everyone is pretty much the same people we were 10 years ago.

Life is funny that way.

We think we grow up, but give yourself ten minutes with old friends and you might find yourself shoving 28 Utz Cheeseballs in your mouth to see if you can break your old record.

We went to surprise Andra (the reason we all ended up being friends) at her house after the reunion.  I see Andra fairly often, but it's always so good to see her!

28 Cheeseballs.  Boom.

Below:  Kandyce Cameron, Me, Ashley (Liljenquist) Baird, Tobey (Wosnik) Roos, and Kalie

I was so excited to go to the class reunion so I could meet up with Tobey!  She lives in Michigan while her husband is completing his residency as an ENT.  We grew up in the same ward together and have been friends for a very long time.

PS- It was so hot in the un-air conditioned school!  Boo.
Kandyce is one of my oldest friends- dating clear back to kindergarten I believe!  Justin Stanford and I did theater together, as well as spending many a late night goofing off.
Left side:  Kalie (Casselman) Chamberlain, Me, Andrea (Muhlstein) and Devon Dustin
Right Side:  Sean and Vanessa Barker

I  grew up with Andrea and Sean.  My favorite part of this reunion was getting to spend some time with them.  We talked about how the ward we grew up in (the Kaysville 14th ward) was the best ever.  I felt so blessed to be able to grow up where I did and have such great friends.
 As part of the High School reunion they did a 5K- I won the race outright!  (I won't mention that it's only because the two guys in front of me took a wrong turn which put them waaayyyy behind...)
Over ten years later, I still call Kalie one of my very best friends.  I'm so blessed to have her in my life.

Friday, July 27, 2012

They call me Mom.

 Some days all I want is a break. 

Jerry Seinfeld said "having a two year old is like using a blender without the lid," and I would say that having Annie means I have at least two of those blenders... in every room.

Will loves to pester Annie because she screams so loud.

I'm baffled by how my kids are always hungry, but yet I can never get them to eat all of their lunch/dinner/breakfast because they are always full?  Anyone have the answer to that question?

You know the drill.  When my Mom asked if they could take my kids up to Island Park with them two days before Dallas could leave, I of course jumped at the chance.  I met her in Salt Lake to take the kids, and as soon as they were gone, I didn't know what to do with myself.

What did I do?

I cried.

I missed my kids and it had only been an hour!  I cried every day and watched home videos over and over again.

What it boils down to is that I would rather deal with a million little things that wear me out than not have the chance to deal with them at all.  I'm so grateful to be a mom.

And I'm especially grateful to be Will and Annie's mom.  I'm not sure if funnier kids have ever hopped on this earth.

When we finally arrived at Island Park I burst into the trailer to giggles and smiles from both of my little ones.  It felt so good to be together again!

They made me a present while I was gone- a beautiful hand beaded necklace.  I wear it all the time now.  They poured their blood, sweat, and tears into that little necklace with the mismatched beads and the fake cherries, and I love it more than any of my other "real" jewelry.  It was made with love.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Island Park 2012

I declare that Island Park and Yellowstone are  the most wonderful places on Earth.  No place smells better, and no place feels better.

We got to spend 5 days with my parents in their trailer in Island Park (the kids actually went up with my parents a couple of days before us).  We loved every minute and were so glad we were able to go on this spontaneous vacation!

Annie's Favorites:
  • Making necklaces with Grammy.
  • Getting a strawberry ice cream cone that was as big as her head.
  • Singing songs in the car as we drove.
  • Getting a new friend- Twisty the purple moose.
Will's Favorites:
  • Every single geyser.
  • Checking out all of Grandpa's lures.
  • Catching Hopper- a little pond frog.
  • Finding animals with his binoculars (especially bison).
Amy's Favorites:
  • No dishes for 4 days!
  • No cooking for 4 days!!
  • Sitting in the lawn chair and enjoying the sights and smells of Island Park.
  • Being in her favorite place with her most favorite people.
Dallas' Favorites:
  • Hiking into a Grizzly just up from my parents lot.
  • 6 point Bull Elk, 4 point bucks, a mother grizzly and cubs, coyote, bison and elk galore.
  • Still being able to browse KSL before bed while eating Oreo's and milk.
  • Prime Rib dinner at Yellowstone Lake Lodge.
Fishing on Henry's Lake

West Yellowstone
"Bears" IMAX movie
Old Faithful geyser loop

Church in the A Frame
Making necklaces
Wildlife drive
Family hike

Firehole River
West Thumb Geyser Basin
Yellowstone Lake
Wildlife spotting
Mud Volcanoes

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Running Blog

For the last year and a half I blogged about my running journey on a blog entitled "Run My Guts Out".  It's essentially what I do every time I hit the pavement, and it has been really fun for me to share my journey with others.  It was a real source of encouragement, information and advice, as well as friendship for me.  I was able to connect with people I never would have met otherwise, and these people have enriched my life.  A few weeks ago some of us got together to say goodbye to one of our fellow bloggers- Julia- who is leaving Utah for bigger and better things.

I love these girls!  They are such a source of inspiration to me and I am so grateful for each of them.
Ashley, Julia, Me, Rachelle, Janae

Modern technology is such a blessing in how it allows us to connect- with old friends and new friends.  I felt it was time to say goodbye to my running blog.  Will and Annie no longer nap, and I couldn't seem to blog without it taking time away from them.  A quote from President Monson really sealed the deal for me:

"This is our one and only chance at mortal life—here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. Opportunities come, and then they are gone. I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey—now."

Blogging isn't important (well, unless it's your family journal like this blog is), and my time with my little kids is beyond precious.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A miracle occurred...

We survived a 101* day at Lagoon with 6 kids- AND NO TANTRUMS- and lived to blog about it!  Amazing, I say!

Annie was big enough to ride some of the bigger rides which made it fun.  Annie's favorite ride still ended up being Bulgy the Whale, and Will and I loved Rattlesnake Rapids.  It has been a fun tradition to go with Jenn and her kids the last two years- we're so grateful to have such fun cousins to spend time with!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

"Fourff" of July

The Fourth of July would not be properly celebrated without the following:
  • A parade that is so boring and hot that you want to cry, but is worth it because you love having candy thrown at you.
  • A picnic at the park.
  • A combination of park games- baseball, tennis, frisbee, and soccer.
  • Peach Rainbows from Pace's.
  • Sprinklers.
  • Fireworks.
  • Barbequed meat.
Typically I try to have a hot-dog-for-lunch/hot-dog-for-dinner combo on the Fourth, but somehow that tradition was foiled by a KFC/Burger combination.  I suppose I'll have to just make that my goal for the 24th?  Either way, we had a fantastic holiday and didn't even get sunburned or die of heat exhaustion.  Yay for that.

Leslee rode a unicycle in the parade!  It was fun to cheer for her.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Ultimate Guilt Trip

So... I broke Will's arm.

Terrible mother, right?  Let me tell you, there is nothing like seeing your child in a cast to give you the ultimate guilt trip.

You want another Otter Pop?  Sure!  New Lego Set?  You betcha!  Stay up until 1 AM?  Not a problem!!!

This happened on our last day in good ol' Star Valley.  We had spent hours and hours on the tramp; we did back flips, 360's, Popcorn, Dead Man, Duck-Duck-Goose!, and other such games.   We also spent a lot of time bouncing each other.  Beau, Dallas and Seth bounced me until I hit the ground while still ON the tramp, and we all bounced Will.  That kid is crazy about going high!

On Sunday (I know, I know- jumping on the tramp on a Sunday?!  No wonder he broke his arm!) I was bouncing him around.  I was being pretty careful and kind of helping him line up right for a landing and making sure he didn't go flying off.  I wasn't bouncing him really high either- nothing higher than what he can normally jump himself if he gets working at it.  Well, he ended up twisting in the air a bit and came down on the tramp with his arm hyper-extended and locked.

The poor kid screamed.  Big time.

We got him to calm down, got off the tramp and turned on a movie while we iced it.  By the time we left their house 5 hours later, he was screaming in pain when we changed his shirt.  I felt terrible for him.  His elbow was a little swollen, but nothing bad.  Kristie- who has seen many-a-broken-arm on her children and is also an EMT- looked at it again and doubted that it was broken.  So, we pressed on.

He slept in the car and we pulled into Heber around 9:30 PM.  He went to get out of the car, and was howling in pain again.  I figured better safe than sorry and took him to the ER.

When we got the x-rays I had to hold Will's arm in place- all while he was letting out the most gut wrenching screams I've ever heard from him.  It was, by far, the most terrible thing I've had to do thus far as a parent.

The results from the radiologist came back- Fractured Humorous.

After Will's arm was put in the soft cast and sling, it helped his pain significantly.  He was pretty proud of it, too!
Will picked the color black for his hard cast (because they didn't have orange), and he is doing so well with it.  It is so much better than having it in that sling!  I don't worry quite as much.  He only has to be in the cast until August 6th, so we are grateful for the short duration.

Quite frankly, the only thing I worry about now is how dirty it's going to be by the time the 6th rolls around...

The Nicoll Summer Games 2012

 Every year for Independence Day we spend the weekend in Afton, WY.  This year since it fell mid-week, we celebrated the weekend before.  Besides enjoying the perfect temperatures that are characteristic of a Wyoming July, we spent lots of time cuddling Grandma and jumping on the tramp.

 These things were all fun, but the greatest part was the Nicoll Summer Games!  Events included:
.22 Pistol Shooting
Lightning (the basketball game)
100 Meter Dash
When the scores were totaled, we learned that I am not the athlete that I thought I was :).  Ha!  The results were:

Gold- Beau
Silver- Abby
Bronze- Seth

There were some major upsets in the Badminton event where Kallie and Abby ended up placing first, the .22 shooting where Shanna scored an 88 to take silver, and Beau's lanky legs carried him to gold in the 100 Meter Dash.
Kallie made the medals and deserved a medal herself for all of her hard work by the end!
We had the greatest weekend which, of course, left us utterly exhausted at the end!